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More Fear Mongering

Mike Griffin again disquisites on the Yellow Peril.

Well, actually he doesn't. Here's all he says (unless there's some elaboration to which the BBC is privy, but we are not):

Speaking to the BBC News website during a visit to London, Dr Griffin said: "Certainly it is possible that if China wants to put people on the Moon, and if it wishes to do so before the United States, it certainly can. As a matter of technical capability, it absolutely can."

What does that mean? If he means that if China made it as much of a priority as we did during Apollo, and if we continue on our own disastrous plans, that they could reverse engineer what we did and put some Taikonauts on the moon before NASA lands astronauts, sure.

But how likely is that? And even if it happened, what's the big deal? We were first on the moon, they were second. Big whoop. There's no way on their current technological trajectory to do it in any sustainable way, and even if they did, there's nothing they could realistically do there that would constitute a threat to us, either in terms of national security, or our own ability to do things there on our own pace.

My take?

It is extremely unlikely--the Chinese are not fools. They know how much it will cost to do a manned lunar mission, and it's not a high priority, particularly when their economy is potentially a house of cards (something not made better by the current energy prices, which will result in either a curtailing of their fuel subsidies, or a decline in economic growth, or both). If and when they are serious about going to the moon, it will be quite obvious, and we'll have plenty of time to do something about it if we think that it's actually a problem.

But Mike apparently thinks that he'll have a better chance of getting increased funding for Apollo on Steroids if he can frighten uninformed people about the Chinese taking over the moon.


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Phil Fraering wrote:

I don't get it. The Chinese aren't building allegedly-shuttle-derived superboosters with huge SRB's in a pogo-stick configuration, they're just working on incremental evolution of their Long March vehicles, and orbital assembly.

Which Griffin etc. says is useless to perform moon missions with.

SO, why's he so worried?

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on July 15, 2008 3:19 PM.

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